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Chuck: Chuck and Kelly with George Morris this morning joined by our legal analyst from Martin, Harding & Mazzoti, Paul Harding. Paul, how are you?
Paul: Good morning. Good morning.
George: Good morning.
Chuck: Hey, so originally we had planned to talk…we have a couple things to talk about today, but we’re gonna talk a little bit about potential legal action in the Schoharie limo tragedy without getting into specifics, I know you can’t. That’s kind of off the table for you right now, as far as talking about it?
Paul: Yeah, we’re in the process of… Yeah, absolutely. And we’re in the process of putting together some of the client’s relatives as folks that we represent, so I know that we even kind of loosely agreed to talk about it and upon thinking about it a little bit further we’re just gonna kind of wait until the lawsuit’s filed to become, you know, a little more vocal about these accidents.
Chuck: That’s fair and yeah, we’re just… That’s good. That’s a reasonably good explanation and a reasonable point of view. The other story, and actually it’s fascinating, I don’t mind spending a lot of time on it, there’s a case now against Apple. It’s class action suit. If you have an iPhone now, any kind of app you want you have to go through Apple’s iStore and they get a commission on that stuff, and a bunch of people have brought a lawsuit here. This could be a big change for people, could it not?
Paul: Well it could be a big change for Apple if this doesn’t go their way because I mean clearly, the claim here is that the users, which would be all of us, have somehow been sort of overcharged for something that shouldn’t have…they shouldn’t have a complete control over. So, what’s a monopoly? It’s when a company has exclusive control over a good or a service in a particular market. Now yeah, you want to go to the App Store? It’s Apple. Turns out they get 30% of all the profit that is given that one pays for this. And they’re looking at this as saying, “Look, you don’t have options, there should be more options. Apple shouldn’t control this exclusively.”
George: But shouldn’t it matter that Apple itself doesn’t set the prices and it’s the actual developers that are setting the prices, and some of the apps are free?
Paul: Some of the apps are free, so that’s the defense. Defense argument says, “Listen, hey, we’re sort of the pipeline here. Know we’re kind of like Amazon. We’re not making anything, you’re just gonna be using our service here, we’re getting 30%. This is between you and the developers. If they’re unhappy they can sue us.” And they’d be okay with that because developers won’t sue them. What they’re nervous about is the millions and millions and millions of people who use and pay for apps on a daily basis.
Chuck: Yeah. In fact, you know, like George said some are free, some are like a buck, you know, they’re not…but they still generated $11 billion for Apple, so there’s [crosstalk 00:02:29] This has been going on for like, 10 years at least. Is this… Let’s just assume Apple lost the case. Would that money actually get funnelled back to us, the little people, do you think?
Paul: That’s the theory right? So that would be just a real, real difficult thing to do just on its face to be able distribute the money to all the folks, probably and maybe in terms of even credit, right? So we’d all have this sort of Apple app credit, I could see that being something that happens. But again we look at monopolies we think of, you know, Rockefeller’s Standard Oil and we think about Carnegie Steel when they broke those companies up. Here it’s not that, here it is, listen, you have not allowed for competitive pricing, therefore, your model is too much. So I don’t think the whole 30% would be part of the damages, but maybe 5% of that 30%. But as you say, it goes into the hundreds of millions of dollars or maybe even a billion dollars of damage.
Chuck: And they, Apple, of course, says among other things they review all these apps for compatibility and malware so you know they’re kind of vetting them then so the feel like they’re providing a service of sorts. Overall do you think, I know I hate to put you on the spot here, but do you think Apple has a good defense here?
Paul: Well, it might come down to Mr. Kavanaugh really, but they’re doing the math on who is where and his questions seem to imply that he was sort of maybe against Apple here and that was sort of the philosophy that he might be pro-Apple. He might want this case to go away. So it’s gonna come down to a few justices, we sort of know where most of them sit. There’s a couple that are on the fence including Kavanaugh, and so that really is the key. Ultimately, I think they’re going to allow something to go forward so it’s going to kick it back down to the lower courts and then we’ll probably see this again in the Supreme Court simply because this will be years and years and years of legal wrangling.
Chuck: Really fascinating case on a lot of levels that affects a lot of folks. Our legal analyst, Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzoti 1 800 law at 10:10. Thanks a lot, Paul.
Paul: Okay. Talk soon, guys.
Chuck: We’ll talk to you. 6:51 on 810 and 103.